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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
If roads are considered the bloodline of a country's economy, taxi drivers must be the blood cells that help people reach their destinations, ensuring the smooth running of the country. In The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers, Ruth H. Finnegan delves into the world of taxis and taxi drivers and showcases their cultural, demographical, and economic impact on any given city or town. Starting from the history of professional travel without motor engines from a wide array of cultures around the world to the modern age of Uber, the book contains many different aspects of private travel, ending with personal conversations with real-life taxi drivers who immigrated to England in search of a better life for themselves and their families.
An anthropological quest to understand the large-scale impact of taxis and their drivers has led author Ruth H. Finnegan to stumble upon some human interest stories about immigrants from faraway countries, sharing their beliefs and desires in the everlasting pursuit of happiness. The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers provides an unflinching look at the person behind the steering wheel of the ride you have taken dozens of times but probably never stopped to wonder who they are. Finnegan has a keen eye for detail and covers a wide range of issues concerning taxi drivers. But it is the personal interviews and conversations with the drivers where the book really shines and touches upon universal themes of humanity. Overall, a thoroughly researched and well-written book that I personally found very engaging and informative.